Royal Mail highlights problem of mail theft ID Fraud

Royal Mail has launched a new TV ad to tackle the issue of mail theft ID fraud. It has been proven that the mail is one of the most valuable sources of personal information for identity fraudsters. Of particular value are credit card and bank statements, official government communications such as Vote Registry forms, utility bills and application forms for finance such as credit cards or mobile phone contracts.

The advertisement features a couple packing up their possessions in advance of a home move and then shows the pile of post building up on their doormat following their departure. It reminds customers of the importance of thinking about the things they leave behind in their house once they have moved. It is a much softer approach than the organisation’s last effort which was banned in 2017. This hard hitting ad showed a gang of men in balaclavas with baseball bats entering a bank and shouting: "This is a robbery." Members of staff and customers were forced to reveal their personal information including name, address, birth date, passwords and log-in details. Text at the end stated "Let's beat identity fraud". The advertisement was ruled to cause fear and distress with no justifiable reason. Whilst the execution might have been too much; the underlying message was spot on. Identity theft is now the UK’s fastest crime, and consumers do need to be more mindful about the information they leave behind.

This is not just the case for home movers but also for the families and friends of people that have passed away. The mail of the deceased sadly also provides valuable pickings for ID fraudsters and the homes of the recently deceased are targeted specifically by criminals for this reason. Stealing the identity of someone that has died is more lucrative than assuming the identity of someone that is still alive as the fraud goes undetected for much longer.

Consumers can protect their deceased loved ones by registering with the Deceased Preference Service,https://www.deceasedpreferenceservice.co.uk/. This will remove the names of the deceased from organisations’ mailing lists reducing the amount of mail they will receive.

Firms wishing to protect deceased customers against fraud should use deceased fraud prevention solutions such as Halo which identifies suspicious applications made with the personal information of people that are known to be deceased.

For further information about deceased identity fraud please don’t hesitate to get in touch.